Empty & Poor

What is Being Mode?


Only to the extent that we decrease the mode of having, that is of nonbeing — i.e., stop finding security and identity by clinging to what we have, by “sitting on it,” by holding onto our ego and our possessions — can the mode of being emerge. “To be” requires giving up one’s egocentricity and selfishness, or in words often used by the mystics, by making oneself “empty” and “poor.”



—Erich Fromm

“To Have or To Be” (1975) p. 72